Embarrassed DfT boss offers apology (sort of)

22 February 2016

An embarrassed DfT official was forced into offering an apology after Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers' union, demanded he say sorry for his extraordinary and offensive comments about Britain's train drivers.

Peter Wilkinson, director of rail passenger services at the DfT, was put under pressure to apologise and duly offered this half-hearted apology late tonight: 'I apologise for any offence caused by my comments. I care passionately about the rail industry and I am committed to helping government deliver a better rail service for passengers. To do this we need to work with the whole of the rail industry.'

A spokesman at the Department for Transport spokesperson said: 'It is right that Peter Wilkinson has apologised for his comments.'

But Mick said: 'The bland unacceptable non-apology from Mr Wilkinson does nothing to restore faith or trust in the DfT for those in the front line and who deliver the railway every day. We shall look forward too the promised £60k salary and short working week that he stipulated in every future franchise as a base line; and as for the lies about breaks, we are happy to insist on those, too. Maybe the public will now understand how twenty years of ineptitude gets placed on the staff not those who create and perpetuate a flawed model. We await the ministers response to Mr Wilkinson and his actions with great interest?'

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